United Internet Acquires KKR's Versatel Stake
United Internet AG (“United Internet”), the leading German and European internet services company, has announced the signing of a binding agreement to acquire 74.9 per cent of shares in Versatel GmbH (“Versatel”), held by KKR, for a total enterprise value of EUR 1.25bn. Together with the 25.1 per cent stake which it already holds, United Internet will raise its holding of Versatel shares to 100 per cent.
KKR originally invested in Versatel in July 2011. Jointly with United Internet, the company was taken private and over the last three years, has been developed into the leading alternative fibre operator in Germany, the largest telecommunications market in Europe.
Henrik Kraft, Member and head of KKR Europe’s technology & telecommunications team, commented: “Our investment in Versatel has been driven by the conviction that the data revolution creates a large structural investment opportunity. The demand in bandwidth for business-to-business purposes and the need to connect mobile base stations with fibre are growing rapidly. Based on that conviction, we have built Versatel’s unique and dense fibre network, with a presence in 19 of the 25 largest German cities. During our investment we have enjoyed a close working relationship with the management of Versatel and a strong partnership with United Internet. We are pleased that Versatel will have the opportunity to continue its successful development under the ownership of United Internet.”
Johannes Huth, Member and head of KKR’s operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, said: “The investment in Versatel combined our capability in the local German market with our global sector expertise in technology and telecommunications. The repeated and strong interest from strategic investors in our portfolio companies, as with BMG, WILD Flavors, Avincis, and now Versatel, is a strong endorsement of the growth thesis that we pursue in our investments.”
The Versatel transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
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KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation at the asset level. KKR invests its own capital alongside its partners' capital and brings opportunities to others through its capital markets business. References to KKR's investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), please visit KKR's website at www.kkr.com.
About United Internet AG
With 13.87 million fee-based customer contracts and 31.44 million ad-financed free accounts, United Internet AG is Europe’s leading internet specialist. At the heart of United Internet is a high-performance “Internet Factory” with 6,700 employees, of which around 2,000 are engaged in product management, development and data centers. In addition to the high sales strength of its established brands (1&1, GMX, WEB.DE, united-domains, Fasthosts, arsys, InterNetX, Sedo and affilinet), United Internet stands for outstanding operational excellence with around 45 million customer accounts worldwide.
Versatel is one of the leading providers of data, internet and voice services in Germany. Based on the second largest fibre network in Germany and its high-performance infrastructure, Versatel offers business customers comprehensive and tailored telecommunication solutions. The company is present in more than 220 German cities nationwide with own infrastructure, and with just under a thousand, highly qualified employees. Versatel guarantees maximum security and highest quality – connected with professional consulting and regional proximity to customers. Telecommunication made in Germany – unique by Versatel. For additional information, please visit Versatel’s website at www.versatel.de.
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